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In Living Color

A friend asked me “what is your favorite color?” I really don’t have a favorite color, all colors are beautiful, it’s impossible to pick one. Color is all encompassing, color can make us feel happy or sad, hungry or relaxed, color can be overwhelming too. Every color creates different emotions and feelings. The fashion industry has a color of the year, home décor usually follows fashions popular color palettes, color is also a major player in product marketing. Paint manufacturers create paint collections to help us navigate color selections. In your home color is the easiest and least expensive way to change the look and feel of a room or the entire house. When you are having a new home built there are so many selections that you are asked to make, it can be overwhelming. Some people hire an Interior Designer to help pull everything together, while others choose to go it alone. A remodel project can be a bit easier as you already have colors in the space, it is usually more about coordinating the existing with the new. If you want to go it alone, here are some tips to help choose the right paint colors for your home.

Don’t Choose Paint First

It seems like you should choose your paint color first because painted walls make up a lot of the décor space in your home. But it’s far easier to choose one of thousands of paint colors to go with your other décor, than it is to find décor to go with a paint color.

Use an Inspiration Piece

So where do you start? Start with what you love. Use an inspiration piece to draw your colors from, a multi-colored sofa, a bedspread, a piece of art or even a fabric that you love.

Go with Neutrals for walls

If you love color, you may want to use bold, beautiful pops of color on your walls. But for most of us it’s best to keep the walls neutral and add those bold pops of color with accents and accessories.

A few good reasons for going with neutral walls:

· If the walls are neutral, attention is on the furniture and accent pieces rather than on the walls.

· If the walls are neutral, you can change out the accent pieces easily to give the space a different look.

· Medium toned neutral walls are good because they hide scuffs and dirt well.

· Neutral-colored walls also make it easy to swap out your décor with the seasons, or even just add holiday and seasonal touches.


One reason your walls may not look like you envisioned them after their painted, is all paint colors are made up of other colors and have what is called an undertone which is either warm or cool.

A warm paint color will have a base color (undertone) of a warm color, such as yellow or red.

A cool paint color will have a base color (undertone) of a cool color, like blue, green or gray.

Selection, Test Swatches and Accurate Lighting

Do NOT choose paint colors at the store! Always take your samples home. After selecting a few possible paint colors, pick up the largest paint swatches the store has, or get sample-sized testers and paint them on Bristol boards so you can move them around your space. Look at the samples in all kinds of light at different times of day, in different parts of the room, next to the couch, the rug and the art. Lighting also affects how paint colors look in your home, the same color may look different in one room than the other.

· South-facing rooms tend to have slightly warmer light, due to the sun coming in all day. The natural lighting will be a yellow-white light and may wash out colors. Most paint colors can work in a room with southern exposure but a cooler color may be preferred to balance the yellower lighting.

· North-facing rooms have a cooler blue or grey natural lighting. A cool color here may seem even cooler, a warm paint color is preferable in a room with northern exposure.

· East and West-facing rooms will have either warm or cool lighting depending on the time of day. Either warm or cool paint colors will work well in rooms with eastern and western exposure.

Choosing the Right Paint Sheen

Another thing that affects how your paint color will look is the sheen. In general, the higher the sheen the easier it is to keep clean. Unfortunately, the higher the sheen the more it will show imperfections in a space. If you want to hide flaws in your walls go with a lower sheen.

· Gloss will be highly wipeable and easiest to clean, but is way too shinny for walls. Gloss is good for baseboards, trim and cabinets.

· Semi-gloss is almost as easy to clean, with significantly less shine, although it is not good on walls in large spaces it is great for trim, cabinets and high moisture areas like bathrooms.

· Satin is also wipeable, it is a good option for walls in higher traffic areas like hallways and kids rooms and works in bathrooms as well.

· Eggshell is a little more durable than flat or matte paint, so choose it for spaces with some traffic and might get a little abuse, like living rooms and dinning rooms.

· Flat or Matte are best for rooms in which the walls won’t really be touched much, like master bedrooms.

Create a Whole Home Color Palette

If you don’t want to paint your entire home interior all one color, but you want cohesive flow in your home, you shouldn’t choose paint colors in isolation or one room at a time with no plan. A whole-home color palette will give you guidelines for the overall colors in your home, while giving you the creativity to use the colors in different ways in different rooms.

For example, say we have shades of white, greige and black, we use those colors in varying proportions in each room.

For instance in the kitchen we have eider white on the walls, pure white on the trim and range hood and black on the island. In the adjoining living room we have eider white walls, a white ship lapped fireplace mantel, and a black accent wall. Same paint colors, different placement and proportions.

The general idea of a whole home color scheme is to have 1 white, 1 neutral and 3 other colors, plus wood and metals. Kids rooms don’t necessarily have to be included in your whole home color scheme, since they tend to be brighter, more colorful and are quite often based around their own theme.

The best paint color for a small space is one that makes it feel larger and more open. Lighter colors tend to make a room seem larger because they appear to be receding away from you in your mind’s eye. White, cream, a light greige or a lightened version of your favorite colors like green or blue are all good options. Likewise if you want to make a large space feel more cozy try using warm darker colors.

Keep cool with cool and warm with warm for a monochromatic or analogous color scheme. Or if you are using a complimentary color scheme, mix warm and cool.

For a beautiful designer inspired look paint your interior doors. Use a bold color for a shot of drama or a muted color for additional low key style.

It is important to note that colors can be subjective-what might make one person feel cheerful can make another feel irritated. Color selections, combinations and options are endless. But colors and emotions are closely linked no matter what, so you should take their effects into account whenever you are using colors.

Give us a call our team of professionals at Black Sand Construction are always available to answer your questions about color selection.

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